Chia Coin: Chia has been all the craze lately they launched their test net about a month ago and since then a few millions have been made just by renting out their hard drives.
What Exactly is Chia/ Chia Coin?
Chia is a cryptocurrency using blockchain technology and it uses what is called the proof of space and work consensus mechanism in short to farm anything using proof of space and work you need to be able to hold large amounts of data and then be able to provide that data to prove that you actually held it
For example, there might be one million terabytes of data on the network and the protocol might be asking you for around 200 bits at a certain location on your hard drive well if you can provide what it originally gave you it will reward you for allowing it to store data in space on your hard drive and for the work that you did to put it there winning is like playing bingo you fill up your bingo card with the different letters and then the network randomly chooses which parts get called and if you get called and you can prove that you held the information that the network originally gave you you win bingo.
So when it comes to chia there are two main processes the first is plotting and the second is farming plotting is essentially putting the data on a storage device that you own and farming is checking that you still have it on that storage device.
So before we continue you need to know two key terms SSD this is an acronym that stands for solid-state drive and this is a form of a storage device that can read and write very quickly it is one of the fastest affordable ways to read and write data although there is a limit to these devices until they no longer work.
Next up is the acronym HDD which stands for hard drive disk this is a form of a storage device that can read and write quite slowly but is reliable affordable and it has been used for years you can store a lot more data on an HDD than you can on an SSD for the same price.
What Plotting in Chia?
Plotting is a process of putting a bunch of data on a hard drive essentially you were doing a ton of math and filling up a bunch of ones and zeros on a hard drive during this calculation process you could use a hard drive disk but it would be very inefficient and technically you could use a USB thumb drive but it would be very slow and unreliable for this process most people use an SSD as it will create the finalized plots the fastest plotting is very intensive on ssds though, in fact, some people are plotting so much that it completely wears out the unit a good analogy for this is a pickaxe in the game Minecraft the more you use the pickaxe the more wear you put on it and eventually the pickaxe will break and pop away from your inventory never to be seen again.
Well, the same goes for a plotting SSD as time goes on it will break, and essentially it will be unusable if you’re looking to plot make sure you check the SSD’s TBW or total bytes written before it is probably going to die this is how many bytes the manufacturers say that you can reliably write before it gives out in any case if you buy an enterprise-grade SSD the twb will be much higher than any SSD you buy for a gaming or a personal desktop.
At this point, you may be wondering why does it wear out so quickly well without getting too technical let’s say you want to use 100GB gigabytes of your hard drive to the farm chia on well you would actually need like 256GB gigabytes of storage on an SSD so that I can do all of those calculations and run a certain algorithm quickly to figure out what it needs to actually put on the hard drive so it needs around two and a half times the space to be able to manipulate it once it is done modifying all of these ones and zeros to what they need to be it moves from the temporary storage drive that is the SSD that it’s plotting on to the drive that it is farming on which is the hard drive.
What is Framing in Chia?
Farming is the process of having the network check that you actually did the work to store the ones and zeros on those drives for example in plotting you are putting the data on your hard drive and farming is just making sure that you still have it there.
So using an algorithm the entire chia network will randomly pick a part of the network and check if they still have the data that it decided to give them and if it is it will reward whoever kept that data there with some chia.
So think about it like this if you want to farm some asparagus first you have to buy the land then you have to buy some equipment to chop down all the trees on that land then you have to have a specialist come in and make sure the soil is in good shape then you have to buy an expensive tractor to till the asparagus and maybe some other tractors to actually plant the asparagus seed this is a lot of work you can think of this as plotting well after you do all of that plotting you just have to wait and maybe let it rain
So that the asparagus can grow now we actually live in Texas so we know there’s more to it than this but let’s keep this analogy simple farming in terms of chia is just letting that plot sit there you don’t have to do anything else to it and it doesn’t require much upkeep the cool thing about farming is that you farm on a hard drive these hard drive discs are usually slow older pieces of technology that are much more affordable in comparison to the newer solid-state drives this means you can plot to a hard drive and then we’ll participate in the chia network for the rest of the hard drive’s life which will actually be quite long due to how large the chia network is growing. so you might be wondering why in the world would I burn out my ssds and fill up my hard drives with extra useless space.
Well right in early May of 2021 farming chia is crazily profitable with current calculations an 8 terabyte hard drive which costs roughly around $200 on Amazon you can earn roughly 0.73 chia a month and if you’re wondering the network size is 2.9 EIB.
Now if you sold those chia at today’s market price you would earn $809 per month as the network grows and more people join it this profit rate will go down and you also have to include the fact that the price of chia may rise or plummet something that I think is kind of cool.
How you can start Chia Mining on PC / Laptop
- Go to chia.net download the main chia application
- select your plotting location and your farming location
- then just click a go button
Chia isn’t really the first cryptocurrency to utilize storage hardware as their main network. storage, file coin, and SIA are among the large market cap coins that are essentially doing the same thing one interesting key for file coin is that instead of storing random data they actually, store useful data on your hard drive you are essentially renting out your hard drive for someone else that wants to pay for it.
Now of course the data is all encrypted and is split up among a bunch of computers around the world so there’s not a single point of failure but it has been around for a few years now.
However, mining or farming file coin isn’t near as profitable because their network is so large this is really cool one of file coin’s main goals was to create something called a decentralized storage system that was more affordable than amazon’s web servers and you know what they did it even though file coin is decentralized and not regulated the way the amazon servers are Amazon is still 100 times more expensive to store your data on than the decentralized storage system that is file coin.